G20 leaders urged to lower tax for women, remove workplace bias

Antalya: PM Narendra Modi and other G20 leaders were today urged to take immediate steps to eliminate workplace discrimination and lower the tax burden on women to encourage them to fully contribute to the overarching aim of inclusive economic growth.

PM Narendra Modi today at the G20 Summit working session in Turkey.
PM Narendra Modi today at the G20 Summit working session in Turkey.

At the G20 Leaders Summit in this Turkish resort town, being attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other top world leaders, the C20 (representing civil society) and W20 (representing women) groupings of G20 countries suggested a six-point agenda to unleash economic power of women and do away with gender inequality.

The Joint statement issued on the sidelines of the G20 Summit called upon the leaders “to take measures to strengthen

Women’s economic, social and political networks in order to amplify women’s collective voices and raise awareness about policies and opportunities”.

It suggested establishment of legal and policy frameworks to eliminate workplace discrimination, including gender-based wage gaps and occupational segregation.

The C20 and W20 also called for introduction of gender quotas for employment, public procurement and representation on corporate boards for achieving gender balance, in order to increase the number of women in both public and private sector leadership positions.

Listed companies in India are already required to have at least one woman member on their boards.

“Unleash the economic power of women by lowering their tax burden, and taking steps to secure women’s access to financial and productive assets and to markets,” it said.

Regretting that gender inequality pervades G20 economies and beyond, the joint statement said the women carry out the vast majority of unpaid labour around the world and are vastly overrepresented in informal, insecure and vulnerable employment.

“They are also subject to occupational discrimination and lack access to social protection and pension systems. Women’s unemployment accounts for three quarters of the global job deficit, while for those in employment, women earn on average approximately 77 per cent of what men earn, with the gap widening for higher-earning women,” it said.

The statement added that the pay equity between women and men will not be achieved until 2086, at the current rate of change.